One Billion Sit Back Down

Disclosure. I do not go looking for anything Eve Ensler. Ever. But there it was, in the Delta in flight magazine, a blurb about her courageous new initiative.

I know I am 110% a cynic. I am cynical about almost everything. I like to think I am cynical in a good way. That is the nature of the overtly cynical. I am cynical about claims of circling the drain in equal fashion to being cynical about claims of new mass movements of revival; revival of anything….religion, longevity, traditionalism, patriotism, intelligence and insight, learning and education, whatever.

Why am I cynical? Because I have lived 50 years, and read about the history of an order of magnitude more years. Those revolutions that did occur were (oy, to use the word) “organic” and not things that would have made the leads of popular media outlets. They were revolutions after they were nearly done.

For the rest, we have pictures of celebrities in magazines and in the list of their achievement, the inclusion of the nebulous emotional trigger word….advocate. A thrown away word broken free of its tangible connotations and set to mean something vapid about someones willingness to say openly “I believe X is wrong”…..that is advocacy.

Comes Ensler with One Billion Rising to help me riff my cynicism du jour. Some may rightly be aggravated by the specifics of her misandric nonsense. I’m stuck in a more basic place, annoyed by the silliness of it all. If it were relegated to the musings of Ensler and thousands of wide eyes utopians, Id say saw horse off the streets and let’em at it. But people take this shit seriously.

Here is some money quotes:

Engaged masses on a deeper, more embodied level through dancing, poetry, singing, and art.

Created solidarity and safe and free space, through our creativity and numbers, for violated women to tell their stories, many for the first time, and heal their trauma by dancing in public, communal open spaces.

Generated the best collection of worldwide dance videos ever!

Never mind a soldier. Never mind a rescuer. Never mind a child with cancer. We have millions of women dancing in the streets! To what end?

Awareness raising. Huh? I have never understood the concept when its in the absence of changing peoples minds. One could categorize what we do in the sphere as awareness raising. Because it is. But raising awareness about men’s issues requires the bold and heavily blown back task of convincing people that there even is are men’s issues. There is no analogy between that and awareness raising about violence against women.

Her advocacy is pandering and raw power grabbing. It is of course inclusive so as to reach more women in the west, meaning verbal and emotional violence, paycheck violence, TV remote control violence, and the horrible violence of unwanted male attention in the form of compliments. The women in the west need some of that empathy generated by the dancing women in the third world who bear real scars of mutilation. That is what this is about, being able to sit, brow furrowed, and be interviewed on MSNBC.

Its shameless. Its pathetic.

She sums up her accomplishments as follows:

Made violence against women impossible to ignore and never to be marginalized again. Reminded the world that women united will never be defeated.

After Ensler puts her accomplishment in context by telling us when the last time violence against women was marginalized by her target audience, the maw of empathy craving western sisters, then please, lets have OBSTHD…..”One Billion Sit The Hell Back Down”. I will get behind it.

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10 thoughts on “One Billion Sit Back Down

  1. (And excerpt from a Poem wot I wrote … Words in Passing)

    After, there was Laughter, Music, Whine.
    High pitched.
    So much fun.
    The departed were only words
    After all.

    Oppressive words.
    Now dead.
    Like Fathers.
    Dead, white males.

    What, three were maids?
    So? Whatever, said the wenches.

    No one noticed Love fall to her knees.
    Her calls for help were drowned by song.
    Trampled to death under dancing feet.
    The last to succumb.

  2. Never mind a soldier. Never mind a rescuer. Never mind a child with cancer. We have millions of women dancing in the streets! To what end?

    Good question. I have often wondered how Western women can, with straight faces, call ourselves oppressed.

    Are we so pathetic that we have been reduced to vicariously experiencing oppression with truly suffering women in third world countries because of our common gender?

    *sigh*

    [yes, exactly, thank you for hitting the mark….Sis….see what Elspeth says, this is what this is about/ add that we as a nation are so pathetic we are vicariously reduced to grief as porn in general when things like school shootings occur]

  3. Since you brought her up… she’s my women are supposed to be girls proof. Remember women to embrace your inner girl. She does.

  4. that is the only aspect about feminism that I see as good. I would like to help the women oppressed around the world. It is so hard to hear their stories.

  5. that is the only aspect about feminism that I see as good. I would like to help the women oppressed around the world. It is so hard to hear their stories.

    That’s not what this is even about though. I do hope you will pull back and see this in relief and not fall for her exploitation of your righteous concerns.

  6. With all due respect, empath…I think you seriously missed the point with this one. Maybe in a way it’s silly, but it’s no sillier than say Easter celebrations looked at purely sociologically. What we’re witnessing is proof of something we’ve long known about feminism. it’s the religious expressive of the ‘progressive left’.

    Remember the Warren Farrell protests. The real cry beneath all the obscenities was ‘blasphemy’. I watched some of the ads for this thing, and really–it’s religious. One of the ads shows women all over the world troubled by abuse, rape, beatings, etc, only then this drumming and vibrations start up, and the women are all freed from what they are subjected to, miraculously, by 1 billion rising.

    This is beyond silly; this is a religious movement. What we’re seeing is this movement’s power. When people like Robert Redford earnestly advocate it (along with many other celebrities) it’s pretty much done; it’s arrived. The faith of our fathers was already past its prime when we were children, robbed of its power to coerce, cajole and instruct in a useful way in the minds of the majority. It may not seem a reasonable thing to say, looking at the acclamation of a new pope or an evangelical convention. I submit that the pagan Romans no doubt saw it the same way as Christians were sweeping through the Empire. Heck, the same thing has happened: this new religion has taken over entire bureaucracies, has taken over areas of government policy and still cries crocodile tears of ‘we don’t have enough power’.

    Remember how sidelined, how ridiculous the Vagina Monologues seemed? same Eve, ladies and gentlemen. Now look at her. This is how it’s going to be. One billion vaginas doing…what they do, I guess.

  7. Thank you McScribe. In fact, wish you’d have taken it on because you got it better. After watching that ridiculous video I deleted my response and added this one. GOSH, you are on it. She is far beyond the genius of the snake oil sales-“person”. She is the Jenny Hinn of her movement. he has people falling down while he waves his white jacket. She has western women falling down while she exploits the EMOTION garnered by videos of honest to goodness victims of horrendous mutilation.

    Scientology—–Victimology—-Branch Whateverism. Koresh——-Ensler—-The Magic TeaCup

    Difference?

  8. Sometime check out her youtube blog, vdayorg. It has a huge number of videos of celebrities endorsing her ideas. Giving her her due, she’s worked very hard at what she believes in, as hard as the best of the best of the Church. She’s traveled to the Congo, to India, to a number of places. This is one Feminist you cannot accuse of living in an ivory tower. The thing is, many of the causes she refers to as you said in your original piece are real causes. What is unsettling about her are the conclusions she’s drawing, not the problems she has brought up through her activism.

    Eve Ensler did this panel called “Breaking the Male Code: After Steubenville, A Call to Action”. Five guys, Peter Buffett (Warren Buffett’s son, a music artist), Jimmie Briggs (a journalist who has been very concerned about the plight of child soldiers and the education of children in general) Joe Ehrmann (former defensive lineman, coach and motivational speaker), Tony Porter (educator and activist), and Dave Zirin a political sportswriter.

    I’d almost like to suggest a study group for the 2 hours of discussion that followed. It was very interesting but for me a lot of it fell just short of the mark enough that I can see how people would swallow it but it does such a good job of perpetuating the viewpoint of ‘man bad woman good’, yet without the shrill harpy image that 2nd wave Feminists often seem infamous for. The average person watching would be hard put to find anything wrong with it, or even to find it unusually significant. Yet all of these men are in their own way influential, and all of them are good feminist party members. The message ‘men need to be fixed, women need to be empowered’ comes through very strongly.

    Seeing past their articulation, confidence and intelligence (bearing in mind most are professional public speakers) what they are actually giving is a series of testimonials. A few statistics are offered here and there, but mostly what we are hearing are opinions that add up to that conclusion of ‘men need to be fixed, women need to be empowered’. Now there are some Feminists who are outside this, but they are outsiders. Feminists like Girl Writes What (who is a liberal feminist after all), Wendy McElroy, Christina Hoff Sommers, bell hooks who advocate women taking responsibility for their part in the gender wars are not heard by Feminism at large. If after 60 years of 2nd Wave Feminism we are no closer, I feel we are unlikely to be at any time in our lifetimes closer in genuine critical thinking.

    A friend of mine talked about his views on likely economic crisis in the next few years and how Feminism will become irrelevant. I pointed out that unless we experience an Apocalypse that Feminism being a religion doesn’t require it to be of practical importance. The principal importance of a religion is spiritual. Feminism has embraced many causes that it claims it address the very root of the problems of, Feminism has thoroughly infiltrated business, politics, bureaucracy, finance and even law and order and defense.

    A lot of what is said at this symposium that is said SOUNDS really smart–and a lot of it is actually untrue. A good example to me is the guys all agree that they all link lack of emotional vulnerability or safety within male culture as being a link to violence. This is as silly as the way that Christians say that marriage leads to stability. It is something that maybe ought to be true but is not.

    In the 19th Century men formed closer friendships than they do now. You read their letters, hear accounts of it, and compare it to now when the close friendships in say a movie or book like Lord of the Rings are ridiculed as probably being sexual–have we really come a long way in our understanding of relationships? Yet the 19th Century was probably just as violent as our present age. The notion that we struggle with sin because we are human beings is something that Eve Ensler and her ilk flee from. If only we can engineer the right society, everything will be fine.

    And we all know what that means historically don’t we? Disaster. Again, not because the problems aren’t real, but because the solutions are skewed just enough to start slowly wrecking the machine. But then what else is new…

  9. What is unsettling about her are the conclusions she’s drawing, not the problems she has brought up through her activism.

    I have a different take on things like this, its the motive for my post, its the thing that gets me quickly, without deeper thinking on the issue, and that is the issue with activism and advocacy as ends to themselves. They are an industry that creates, as you say, a religion. I’d be more credible if I could offer some other path to a solution to whats happening in Congo etc. But i cannot.

    I’m having a hard time finding things that feminism has not corrupted. Anywhere I am, anywhere I go.

  10. Pingback: Links and Comments #6 | The Society of Phineas

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